Review: The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.

At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?

A new heartwarming Christmas novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas at the Island Hotel.



My Thoughts:

Another absolutely charming story from Jenny Colgan!

Author Jenny Colgan’s books are light-hearted and fun. The Christmas Bookshop is a holiday-ish story that is readable year-round. While there are references to Christmas and romantic possibilities, the story was about Carmen blossoming and becoming the adult she is meant to be.

Carmen has long felt that she is the unappreciated sibling and that she lives in the shadow of her highly successful older sister, Sofia. The story is told primarily from Carmen’s point of view, but it is not hard to figure out how Sofia feels about Carmen’s life choices. When mum convinces Sofia to help Carmen—in order to help Carmen’s client—the story takes off. Carmen has to navigate a new city, a loosely-defined job, her sister’s snobbish nanny, and a block of quirky shop owners and their regular clients. The cast of characters is fabulous! The Christmas Bookshop is a standalone story, but I absolutely loved the cameo appearances by Ramsay, Patrick, Harry and Zoe from another book by the author.

One aspect of Ms. Colgan’s stories that I adore is her ability to immerse her readers in the location of her tales. I felt that I had returned to Edinburgh while reading The Christmas Bookshop. The tiny wynds, Princes’ Park, the plethora of small shops and friendly shop keepers. A Christmas market and all the signs of winter made me want to bundle up for the read. 

The Christmas Bookshop appealed to me on many literary fronts. I love stories about books and bookshops. I enjoyed the holiday romance aspect, and most of all I enjoyed the story of how Carmen learns to respect what she brings to the table and of how she re-engages with her family.

© Copyright 2022 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

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